Monday, May 31, 2010

And I ran. I ran slightly far away.

After my graceful encounter with a tree root back in March, I had been out of commission for a few months.

Well, "out of commission" may be a small stretch.  I've been able to walk, skip, try my hand at double dutch and familiarize myself with the choreography from Janet Jackson's "If" video.  All with limited mobility, of course.

But running?  Out of the question.  Laziness may also have had something to do with it but that's an issue I'll address at a never time.

Eventually, this "ailment" started to catch up with me.  Once I realized that I couldn't sit comfortably at my desk without undoing the top button of my work pants, I knew it was time to make some moves.

So what did I do?  I ran.

I ran to the end of the road.  And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town.  And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County.  And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama.  And that's what I did.

I ran clear across Alabama. 

Forrest Gump quote aside, Berry White and I decided to get off the sectional and go running this weekend.  Twice!  I'm really hoping it's something we can maintain, even as the 90 degree days become more consistent.  I feel good.  James Brown good.

A healthy change calls for a healthy (well, healthier than usual) treat.

Strawberry and Mascarpone Granita
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 cups strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, combine water, 1/2 cup sugar and mint leaves and bring to simmer.  Stir until the sugar dissolves then continue simmering for 2-3 minutes.

 Remove from heat and strain the mint syrup over a bowl or large measuring cup.  Discard the mint.

Using a food processor, puree the strawberries and 1 Tablespoon of sugar.

Add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and pinch of salt.

Give it another whirl.

Add the mint syrup to the strawberry mixture and blend it well.  

If your food processor is kid-sized like mine, you can just combine the two into a large bowl instead.

Pour the soon-to-be granita in an 8 by 8 glass or ceramic dish.  Pop it in the freezer to chill for 3-4 hours. 

3-4 long, restless, impatient hours.

When it's ready, use a fork to scrape the granita. Spoon it into bowls or glasses.

Wow...this granita is AMAZING.  

The strawberries are fresh and tart and the mint is subtle and refreshing.  The best part is the addition of mascarpone.  It gives the granita a light, creamy texture similar to sherbet. 

You can experiment with different fruits (raspberries, blackberries, pineapples, mangoes) or different herbs (basil, lavender.)  It's one of those recipes that you'll almost always have all the ingredients on hand.


P.S.  The brain freeze is totally worth it.


  1. Congrats on getting back out there!

    I was hoping to run this weekend myself except instead I was retarded and threw my back out playing with (i.e. throwing) Riley all day on Saturday. That kid is big.

    I'm hoping to get a couple miles in this week though. But I've also decided, since flexibility, back strength, etc., has never been my forté - that I'm gonna sign up for a yoga class. I need it.

  2. Liam, that sucks about your back :( At least it was for a good/cute cause.

    I only tried yoga for the first time in January but I loved it. It would probably do wonders for you on your recovery days. I'm sure Jessi B. can drop a little knowledge on the topic :)

  3. This looks delicious! Hmmm, scrape into glasses, top with rum, swirl for some punchy daquiris too?
    I was laid up about 2 months ago now too, I don't know if it was a sprain but my foot sure bulbed out like a monsters...but there's nothing like NOT being able to do something to make you want to do it. While never a real runner before, one sure would kill go for a run when you're injured!

  4. Punchy daquiris have just been added to my "to drink" list for the summer (or tonight.)

  5. We broke out our ice cream machine for some impromptu alcoholic slushies last night (have I mentioned that alcholic slushies are my new favorite thing?)

    Also, basil works really well with passion fruit and lime or strawberries and a pinch of black pepper (don't look at me like that, it's good!)

  6. Yes running is the best thing that happened to dessert. Sometimes I feel like all I do is run then eat then run so I can eat again. Love it. This granita looks fab too, I bet it's totally worth the brain freeze.

  7. This looks gra-yummy!! I'll take this over birthday cake any day. (Hint, hint.) Glad you're back on track with the running, Al. Just try to get out earlier than at 1:00 in the blazin' afternoon!! Don't want you to pass out from heat exhaustion and trip over another root. xoxo

  8. That's it, Al. Just went through the last few postings that I missed. We NEED to talk. 5-year plan, Ali.